Days Gone By - Tower Ramparts resurrects memories of a time when the town bank stood at the heart of Ipswich

Tower Ramparts in the early 1930s. This is now the townÕs bus station. The building in the right bac

Tower Ramparts in the early 1930s. This is now the townÕs bus station. The building in the right background is now the Robert Ransome public house.

Tower Ramparts, Ipswich, is the name of the road stretching from Northgate Street to High Street and the bus station for Ipswich Buses, writes David Kindred.

Shelia Bullard sent this photograph of staff and students at the Ipswich School of Commerce and Soci

Shelia Bullard sent this photograph of staff and students at the Ipswich School of Commerce and Social Studies in Argyle Street, Ipswich, in October 1953. The 1872 Ipswich Board School building they occupied was rebuilt in 1914 for 432 boys taking in pupils from Foundation Street School. Were you a student here, or do you know more about this still standing Victorian school building? Write to David Kindred, Days Gone By, Ipswich Star/EADT, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail info@kindred-spirit.co.uk

The name is a reminder of the time when part of the town bank was here, dating from around the 1203. The roadway on the inside of the rampart was once called Tower Ditches.

In the mid 1930s the last part of the old town defences were removed along with houses on the top of the bank.

It is thought that the town bank had originally continued on a line along what is now Old Foundry Lane to Majors Corner, along Upper Orwell Street and Lower Orwell Street to the River Orwell.

In the other direction from Tower Ramparts the defences extended to Lady Lane and on to the town marshes, close to where the Ipswich Town football ground is now. We still have the Northgate and Westgate street names to remind us of the opening in the town bank.


You may also want to watch:


In this week’s Days Gone By I have featured photographs showing how parts of the rampart survived until the 1930s - see our gallery.

Frederick Tibbenham Ltd also made wooden propellors during World War Two. This photograph was taken

Frederick Tibbenham Ltd also made wooden propellors during World War Two. This photograph was taken in their building off Turret Lane. The building has been occupied since the 1960s by Archant, publishers of the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star.

Your memories

Most Read

Readers have shared their memories of old Ipswich after seeing previous instalments from Days Gone By.

Sheila Bullard, of Ipswich, wrote to say: “I attended the old School of Commerce and Social Studies in the mid 50s. The students came from all over Suffolk. Mrs Beryl Harding, who was the headmistress, is now 104 years old.”

Ms Bullard sent a photograph of staff and students at the Ipswich School of Commerce and Social Studies in Argyle Street, Ipswich, in October 1953. The 1872 Ipswich Board School building they occupied was rebuilt in 1914 for 432 boys taking in pupils from Foundation Street School. W

Propellors being loaded at Frederick Tibbenham Ltd works in Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, during Worl

Propellors being loaded at Frederick Tibbenham Ltd works in Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, during World War Two. The Leyland lorry belonged to Orwell Transport Ltd of 961 Woodbridge Road, Ipswich.

D A Carter, of Bures, said: “My mother, Muriel Hope, who was born c.1893, of Larchwood, Hadleigh Road, Ipswich, worked for Tibbenham’s. She left the Ipswich School of Art with her sister Lily Hope. They worked Mother of Pearl into the backs of chairs. Also they peeled the backs off large mirrors and painted in oils on the reverse, which was very clever.

“I have one of the mirrors, it is very old, but still outstanding and beautiful.”

Neil Rogers, emailed and said: “Ipswich cabinet makers Frederick Tibbenham Limited featured recently. Photographs of propellor production during the First World War, taken on the site occupied by the company between Turret Lane and Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, featured in Days Gone By. Readers have told us more about the company.

“I worked for Frederick Tibbenham’s in the mid to late 1970s. They were also based in both Kemble Street and Pitcairn Road, where I worked.

“During my time with the company they also had a site at Wherstead Road, Ipswich, on the site of a former public house. It was used for storage and French polishers were based there in a big shed built on legs over the River Orwell prior to the Ipswich port reclaiming the land.

A DawsonÕs steam road roller photographed around 1930. It was named ÒRubyÓ and was a Rushton Proctor

A DawsonÕs steam road roller photographed around 1930. It was named ÒRubyÓ and was a Rushton Proctor eleven-ton machine built in 1912. Do you remember when machines like this were a common sight?

“We made oak reproduction furniture, tables, chairs etc. The wood turner was Tom Cutting who also ran a few pubs in the town in his time including the Sproughton Wild Man. The works was run by a Clive Cook. It was a happy place to work.

“My late grandad, Harold Rogers, was the oldest newsagent in the town at one time. His shop was opposite the Ipswich Station, now sadly nothing more than a car park. Before that he was opposite the Ancaster Road bridge in Ranelagh Road. He also played football for Ipswich Town when they were in the Southern Amateur League.”

Mrs Y J Taylor (nee Finch), of Great Blakenham, said: “A tiny shop in Orford Street, Ipswich, which was a very popular fish and chip shop around 50 years ago, and featured in a recent Days Gone By, is still bringing letters from readers.

“I can remember so well the Sabbatella’s ‘chippy’ in Orford Street, Ipswich. I used to swim for the Ipswich Club and also Suffolk. We held our club nights at St Matthew’s Baths. After training we used to go there and buy three penny worth of chips and he would give a generous helping of scallops as well. They were a lovely family.”

Ranelagh Road, Ipswich, from the junction with Ancaster Road, as it was around a century ago. Neil R

Ranelagh Road, Ipswich, from the junction with Ancaster Road, as it was around a century ago. Neil Rogers recalls that his grandfather had a newsagents shop here. All of the houses featured have been demolished. Did you ever live here?

Nina Knock, of Stowmarket, said: “The memories of Sabbatella’s fish and chip shop brought back such lovely memories. I worked in a hair salon at 9 Norwich Road, Ipswich, for nine years. The salon I worked in was run by Sidney Sharpe. Joyce Payne took it over when Sid retired.

“We used to go to Sabbatalla’s for fish and chips on a Friday. Anthony Sabbatella was a lovely little man, his family were nice too. Even if he had a queue outside his shop he took his time in making sure he cooked it well. I am sure that at the time he was the best fish and chip shop in Ipswich.

“I now live in Stowmarket near a very good family-run fish shop in Wolsey Road.”

Share your memories, email David Kindred

Anthony Sabbatella working at his coal fired cooking range in Orford Street, Ipswich, in the 1960s.

Anthony Sabbatella working at his coal fired cooking range in Orford Street, Ipswich, in the 1960s.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus